Far Other Worlds…


I’ve been wracking my brain, trying to think what I did with the rest of the weekend after my walk by the Lune. It took a a while, but it’s come back to me. I had things to do in the garden. My Dad had pointed out that the woodwork around our garage roof is need of a coat of…..varnish? Woodstain? Treatment? Anyway, whatever the stuff is that woodwork generally gets painted with. With a recommendation from a knowledgable friend I’d been to buy the requisite ‘stuff’, between dropping B off for his match and my walk by the river. When we got back, I set about preparing the ground; pressure washing and then sugar-soaping all of the woodwork. Then I read the instructions on the tin and discovered that the ‘stuff’ shouldn’t be applied when the temperature is below eight degrees. It was five. Bother. Is almost what I said at the time.

Not to worry. There were leaves to be swept up and composted and the Virginia Creeper which is supposed to climb attractively up the garage wall, had overstepped the mark and was now enveloping the entire roof, like some many tentacled Kraken, and threatening to lever off some of the roof-tiles. Before I could get in to hack that back, I had to lop another belligerent shrub, an overgrown Viburnum which was preventing me from reaching parts of the creeper.

That, and other odds and ends, kept me occupied for the Saturday afternoon, and for most of the Sunday, and, in honesty, whilst most of the cuttings have gone in the green bins, or been through the shredder and then added to the compost, the larger branches from the shrub are sitting in an unruly pile on the patio waiting for me to do something with them.

Anyway, the point is, when I finally called time on my ‘uncessant labours’, I took a wander down to the Cove, arriving just as the sun disappeared.

Meanwhile the mind, from pleasure less,
Withdraws into its happiness;
The mind, that ocean where each kind
Does straight its own resemblance find,
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other worlds, and other seas;
Annihilating all that’s made
To a green thought in a green shade.
from The Garden by Andrew Marvell
I know that I’ve quoted bits of this poem here before. The whole thing is here.
Maybe, the busy day which had preceded it made sitting on the bench watching the colours change in the sky and reflected in the water and the mud all the sweeter?
Far Other Worlds…

Must I Paint You a Picture?


‘What!’ I hear you cry. ‘More sunset photos from the Cove?’


Well, like buses and bad fortune, it seems that my dusk trips to the Cove sometimes come in threes. This was back in half-term, I’d had a lengthy rugby watching engagement earlier in the day. TBH and A had been out for a walk, which had taken in the Cove. Or was it a run? It depends on whether they were needing to hit their targets for intense exertion for the day, or simply the mandatory step-count. They both have these new-fangled watches which seem to do everything but tell the time and they’re very competitive with each other in reaching their goals for the day. Anyway, they’d been past the Cove, probably chiming simultaneously as their watches celebrated them hitting their vitamin D targets, or somesuch, and they recommended that I follow suit to see the art work on the beach.

So I did.


It was actually after the sunset, and quite dark, by the time I reached the Cove. My camera did pretty well capturing reasonably clear images I thought.


I don’t know who made this pattern, or why. But I like it.


The first tide will have washed it away.


Must I Paint You a Picture?

Worker’s Playtime


Do not adjust your set! I haven’t posted the same photos again. It’s just that I was back at the Cove on the Saturday, the following evening, at around the same time, and, if I remember correctly, with TBH for company on this occasion.


Not much else to say about this walk, so I shall digress. ‘Worker’s Playtime’ is the Billy Bragg album which includes the song ‘The Only One’ which lent me the previous post’s title. Music is really important to me, but rarely gets a mention here. Many of my favourite blogs manage to be very diverse, interweaving several interests and spurring me, from time to time, to attempt to incorporate more on food, or games, or art, or music etc.

In that spirit, I’ve been wanting to mention the Lancaster Music Festival, an annual event*, which happened this year over a long weekend in mid-October. It’s a huge endeavour, with bands appearing in almost every feasible venue, even the tiny Atticus second-hand bookshop is pressed into service. Last year, I took A and her friend E to see Atomic Brass who were superb. They were playing again this year, but somehow I managed to miss them. My favourite acts this year were The Uptown Monotones, from Austria, who we’d seen last year at Cartmel, supporting Jools Holland, and The Hackney Colliery Band, although honourable mentions must also go to local band Rockit Man and Analog Bomb from Leeds. I contrived to catch the Uptown Monotones four times all told over the weekend, so you can probably guess that I was very taken with them, they are enormous fun and pretty much impossible to categorise. If you get a chance to see them live, they are not to be missed. But since the event, it’s the Hackney Colliery Band that I keep coming back to listen to again. Here’s a sample from their most recent, and absolutely superb album, Sharpener…

*Sadly, the team behind the Festival are taking a hiatus next year, but it will be on again in 2019.

Worker’s Playtime

A Victim of Geography


I’ll confess, this may not be an entirely appropriate title, so let me explain. I was racking my brains, trying to dredge up the circumstances of my taking these sunset photos at the Cove. I remembered that the occasion was the Friday night at the beginning of half-term, and that I’d raced home to squeeze in a post-work walk before the clocks went back. Anyone that knows me, my long-suffering children in particular, will tell you that any event, or phrase, or even a single word, can put me in mind of a song, and once I have an earworm in my head I struggle to be rid of it. Although, in fairness, I don’t always struggle with much conviction; often I just sing instead. Any mention of the beginning or end of British Summer Time is a case in point, and the song which always springs to mind is ‘The Only One‘ by Billy Bragg, which contains the lines:

I long to let our love run free
Yet here I am a victim of geography


This weekend I’ve been trawling through the thousands of photographs I’ve taken this year, an annual chore, necessary at around this time when we put together our calendars for the coming year, and, of course, not really a chore at all. TBH is firmly of the opinion that the photographs we use should have people in them, so I select all the photos of friends and family which I think might be suitable and then we whittle them down from there.

Several things struck me as I worked my way through my flickr albums. It’s still the case that most of my photos are of sunsets, or newts, or deer, or birds, or leaves, or butterflies etc, but I’ve picked out 162 pictures for my long-list this year and that’s many more than usual. I think that reflects both the many enjoyable days we’ve packed in this year, but also how many of those were spent together as a family and also often shared with friends. Another thing I noticed, which won’t surprise long-suffering readers of this blog, is just how many times this year I’ve been at the Cove to witness the sunset. In fact, I was there again this afternoon. And yesterday afternoon. And whilst the Bay is essentially a vast expanse of mud, it does provide an excellent foreground for a sunset, and so, far from being a victim, I think I must be a beneficiary of geography.


A Victim of Geography

Like a Dull Knife


These sunset photos were gleaned from a late wander down to the Cove and across the Lots with the boys and were taken the day after the shots in the previous post, that is at the tail end of September, but have had to wait a lot longer to make it the the blog.


Just so you know I’m still here, bumbling along, snapping away.


Like a Dull Knife

Summer’s Lease


“Summer starts on June 21st, three months after the start of Spring on March 21st.”

“Hang on, that can’t be right; the 24th is midsummer day, at that rate the summer only lasts six days. Oh…… Well, you might be right.”

“Look at that out there: that’s winter.”

This last being Little S’s contribution to a recent debate in our house about Summer and it’s absence.


After the end of Whit week we had a couple of days of really ferocious weather; heavy rain and fierce winds. Of course, some people say that there’s no such thing as bad weather: only weather. By the end of the second day, when the rain had eased considerably, I really wanted to get out, at least for a short walk.


“I’d go to Eaves Wood,” TBH advised.

She had a point, the contrast there between the relative shelter and calm of the woodland floor and the roar of the wind in the treetops is staggering; and it’s quite comforting to listen to the gales from the comfort of a cosseted spot in the woods. But I wanted to really immerse myself in the storm, so I staggered across the Lots, which were strewn with leaves and small branches.

I don’t know whether the photos convey it, but although the gales had already subsided somewhat since the previous day, it was still wild and gusty.

Just in case you were thinking that it’s all sunshine and butterflies!

Summer’s Lease